Recently, I took my Dad to Franklin Gulf Park on a recommendation from a GrowWNY team member. The two of us instantly fell in love with the peaceful serenity that could be found in this undeveloped and unsung park. We both appreciate taking a step off the beaten path, so to speak. Conservation parks, or undeveloped parks, are simply just county land. They have barely been altered from their natural state, with minimal trail clearing and marking. We have since started looking for more county conservation parks to explore.
My father kept mentioning the Boston County Forest. He had passed the entrance on Rice Road, in Boston, NY many times, but never stopped. On a sunny Sunday morning, we decided it was a perfect time to explore the park. Due to the recent rain, the trails were pretty muddy and the creek crossings were very high—so if you are planning a visit here and it has been raining a lot, make sure to wear appropriate footwear.
We took a trail that led deep into the forest and away from the sounds of traffic that can be heard from Rice Road. Once we were in the heart of the forest, our trail turned into a fork. We chose to go left, and it led us out to a wide field. We quickly realized this is an entry point for snowmobiles. A couple feet from the trail that leads you into the field is another trail that leads you back into the forest. This trail then leads you along the creek, which creates multiple little waterfalls and different points.
The whole circuit is one big loop, totaling about 3 miles. The trails aren’t marked as well as Franklin Gulf Park, so make sure you are being extra observant in order to catch the white dot that lets you know that you are on the right track. However, most of the paths are groomed for snowmobiles to come through, so even if you miss the markings, you can tell where the path is by the occasional snow mobile sign, or by how clean cut it is. Make sure to check out the maps before you go as well: http://www.practicaloutdoors.com/?p=221
Do you have any other county conservation parks to suggest for us?